Apple’s Find My feature is useful in a lot of contexts. For one, it lets you find your iPhone if you misplace it.
A more recent change to the feature is that you can now share your Find My location data with your friends and family. When you do this, they get an alert that tells them you’ve started sharing your location.
However, if you stop sharing your location, they get another alert.
For this reason, you might want to turn off location on iPhone without the person knowing, and we’re going to show you how to do that.
Part 1. Why You Should Turn Off Location
First things first: why would you want to turn off location without the other person knowing?
Here are some common reasons:
As cool as this feature is, the novelty will eventually wear off and you’ll start to realise that having other people know your location 24/7 is a huge breach of privacy.
In which case, disabling this feature is ideal.
This isn’t a reason many people consider but it’s an important one.
Your iPhone is constantly sending location data so that your Find My details are updated in real-time.
This results in your battery life depleting much faster. Turning off location will extend your battery life and you won’t need to charge it as often.
You’ve most likely installed an app on your iPhone and been asked if you agree to them accessing your location.
Over time, more apps will have access to this information and will be able to sell your data to marketing companies. Either revoking access or disabling location will resolve this.
There are plenty of other reasons such as wanting to sneak out of your house without anyone knowing, but any of these reasons will prompt you to turn off your location.
Part 2. How to Turn Off Location on iPhone without the Person Knowing
It’s different between turn off Find My iPhone and turn off location.
Whether you’re trying to hide your location from a specific person or you’re uncomfortable with everyone knowing your location, try these solutions.
1. Turn on Airplane Mode
This is the most effective thing you can do and it guarantees success.
Airplane Mode will disable all network features – Wi-Fi, Mobile Data, Bluetooth – so there’s no way for your iPhone to connect to the Find My servers and update your location.
If a friend tries to check your location then it will show where you were before you enabled Airplane Mode.
Step 1 – Swipe downwards from the top-right of your screen.
Step 2 – At the top-left, tap on the airplane icon and it will turn orange.
That is all you have to do. After you’re done and ready for your location to be seen again, just tap on the icon again to disable Airplane mode.
Remember though, Airplane Mode also prevents you from accessing the internet, sending texts, and making phone calls.
2. Share Another Device’s Location
You could instead trick your friends into believing you’re somewhere else without abandoning your iPhone.
If you have another iOS device, like an iPad or an old iPhone, we can change the settings so that your location is based on those instead.
Step 1 – Make sure that you are using the same iCloud account on the second device as you are using on your main iPhone.
Step 2 – Go to Settings and tap your name/iCloud account.
Step 3 – In this menu, you must now tap on Find My.
Step 4 – Tap Use This iPhone As My Location and your Find My data will now be updated with this device’s location.
This is one of the best ways to turn off location on iPhone without the person knowing because it doesn’t limit your main iPhone like Airplane Mode does.
Afterwards, you can continue to have the second device track your location or you can switch it back to your main iPhone using the same steps above.
3. Fake GPS Location with Software
If you’re looking for something a little bit more technical or even challenging, faking your location with specialised software is also possible.
Tenorshare iAnyGo is one of the newest GPS faking software on the market and although technical, it’s extremely easy to use.
Step 1 – Download and install Tenorshare iAnyGo on your computer then launch it.
Step 2 – Click the Change Location tool and agree to the disclaimer before clicking Enter.
Step 3 – Use a USB lightning cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.
Step 4 – Your current location will be detected then you can choose anywhere in the world where you want the GPS to be faked for.
Step 5 – After you choose somewhere, press Start to Modify and you’re done.
After you do this, anytime that someone checks your Find My location, they’ll see the fake GPS location instead of your real location.
Go ahead and give Tenorshare iAnyGo a shot using the free trial and you’ll see for yourself how great it is!
4. Hide Precise Location & Use Approximate Location
Alternatively, you can turn off location without the other person knowing by changing the Find My settings.
Starting from iOS 14, iPhone uses precise location tracking by default. If you don’t want people to see exactly where you are, we can change this so that only a rough location is given.
This is ideal if you enjoy friends being able to see which area you’re in but are uncomfortable with them being able to see your precise location at any given moment.
Step 1 – Launch the Settings app and go to Privacy.
Step 2 – Tap Location Services and then on Find My.
Step 3 – If Precise Location is enabled then tap the slider to turn it off.
This will obscure your location somewhere between 0.5 and 12 miles.
You can also change this setting for other apps that use your location, such as iMessage or Snapchat, so that your exact location can’t be tracked.
5. Power Off Your iPhone
If none of these solutions is what you’re looking for then the only other way to turn off location on iPhone without them knowing is to power off your iPhone completely.
Obviously if you don’t have your iPhone on then there’s no way for the Find My system to get your location.
Of course, this means you can’t do anything with your iPhone unless you want your location to be shared, but it also means that there’s no risk of you accidentally sharing your location.
If the problem you have is that you don’t like apps being able to store so much location data about you so frequently, we’d recommend disabling location services for as many apps as possible (or disabling it all together).
You can do this through the Settings app but if lots of apps are using your location, this will take some time.
Part 3. People Can Still Receive Notifications if You Use These Ways
Don’t worry if none of the above solutions helped because we’ve got a few others to introduce.
It’s important to mention that the following methods are likely to alert the other people that you’re no longer sharing your location with them, so be aware of this.
1. Turn Off “Share My Location”
Simply disabling the Share My Location setting is the quickest way to do this.
As soon as you change this though your friends and family will receive a notification that your location is no longer being shared with them.
Step 1 – Unlock your iPhone and go to the Settings app.
Step 2 – Tap your name and select the Find My option.
Step 3 – In this menu, tap on the slider next to Share My Location to disable it.
Your location data will still be shared with other apps, but anyone who you let view your location through the Find My app will no longer have access to it.
2. Hide On “Find My” App
Similar to the last method, you can turn off Find My Friends location sharing by going into the Find My app settings.
This does the same as the last method but is just another possible way of doing it.
Step 1 – Unlock your iPhone and open the Find My application.
Step 2 – Tap on your Me icon at the bottom-right of your screen.
Step 3 – On the popup box, tap Don’t Share.
Once you do this your location will be hidden from anyone you had previously shared it with. You’ll also see that if you want to temporarily share your location, the same popup box lets you do so for short periods of time.
3. Hide from iMessage Contacts
To stop sharing your location from specific iMessage contacts (in the case that you share your location with everyone), you can hide your location from specific people.
Here is what you have to do:
Step 1 – Open the Phone app and tap Contacts at the bottom of the screen.
Step 2 – Locate and tap on the contact you want to hide your location from.
Step 3 – Tap the Stop Sharing My Location option.
You have a similar option here where you can share your location with the chosen contact for a set length of time (e.g. until the end of the day).
If you only want to stop certain people from seeing where you are then this is the method to use.
BONUS: Turn Off for Specific Apps
The last thing we’re going to do, which is slightly different to turn off location on iPhone without them knowing, is show you how to stop sharing location for specific applications.
This is particularly useful if you believe an app is being too intrusive, stores location data without your approval, or if you no longer want them to track your location.
Step 1 – Unlock your iPhone, launch Settings, and go to the Privacy menu.
Step 2 – Tap on Location Services. On this page, you will see all of your apps listed.
Step 3 – Tap on specific apps and set their location services to Never or While Using the App.
Using the While Using the App option may be preferred if you don’t want the app to access your location while running in the background, although this depends on the situation.
All in all, you can turn off location on iPhone without the person knowing fairly easily.
Each of the solutions we detailed in this article provide you with a variety of options – you can keep it a secret or disregard secrecy and let them know they can no longer see your location.
Either way, the solutions above will help you out.